02nd Apr2015

Glasgow South hustings timetable

by TH

stocks2Tom Harris, Scottish Labour’s candidate in Glasgow South, has published an up-to-date lists of the hustings meetings that have been planned so far in the campaign.

He said: “There’s a lot of interest in the 2015 general election here in Glasgow South, and that’s because the stakes are so high. Another Tory-led government would be a disaster for my constituents.

“I can’t wait to put Scottish Labour’s case directly to the audiences in the next month.”

The hustings agreed so far:

Langside Church of Scotland (organised jointly with Commonweal) 167 Ledard Road, Glasgow G42 9QU – Thursday 16 April at 7.00 pm

Cathcart Trinity Church of Scotland 90 Clarkston Road, Glasgow G44 3DA- Tuesday 21 April at 7.30 pm

Castlemilk Youth Complex 39 Ardencraig Road, Glasgow G45 0EQ – Tuesday 28 April at 7.00 pm

This list will be updated if any further events are planned.

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01st Apr2015

‘Yes’ voter says ‘Yes’ to Tom

by TH

Jackie DFormer Yes voter Jack Donaghy has endorsed Tom Harris for the General Election in Glasgow South.

Jack, a student and freelance photographer, voted Yes in September’s referendum, but will now opt for Labour to bring real positive change to Scotland and the UK.

Jack said: “I supported Scottish independence and I was disappointed in the final result. But the referendum is behind us now. I have known Tom for years and I know he’s a hard-working MP who will always put the interests of his constituents first. That’s why I’ll be voting Labour on May 7.”

Tom said: “I’m really grateful for Jack’s support. He voted Yes, I voted No – we’ve agreed to disagree on that!

“But what’s important now is that Labour wins enough support in Scotland to make sure David Cameron can’t stay in Number 10.”

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13th Mar2015

Campaign leaflets go online

by TH

Screenshot 2015-03-13 12.03.20Tom Harris’s re-election campaign is to post all its literature online.

Every leaflet being distributed round Glasgow South will be available on this website as soon as they become available. For updates, visit the Campaign 2015 page

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04th Mar2015

Labour rejects Tory austerity; Nats too busy to express an opinion

by TH
george-osborne-bud_3126277b

George Osborne: SNP “not fussed either way…”

Labour tonight rejected the government’s “failing” austerity plan, calling on ministers to adopt a “different, fairer and more balanced” approach to reducing the nation’s deficit.

But while Labour marched into the lobbies at the House of Commons to support their long-held position, Nationalist MPs abstained.

Glasgow South MP Tom Harris said: “Given how much of a song and dance the Nationalists love to make about Opposition day votes when it suits them, I’m surprised that they couldn’t bring themselves to vote with Labour against the Chancellor’s failed austerity programme.

“This illustrates the Nationalists’ blind tribalism – they would rather consign Scots to a failed Tory economic plan than be seen to support the only alternative available – Labour’s plan for growth.

“So much for the party that claims always to put Scotland first.”

The ful text of today’s Labour motion, which was defeated by a combination of Tory and LibDem MPs, reads:

That this House rejects the government’s failing austerity plan set out in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement which the Office for budget responsibility has said will take public spending back to a share of national income not seen since the late 1930s, before the National Health Service came into existence; notes that the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that this would entail cuts on a colossal scale and has raised concerns that this could involve a fundamental reimagining of the role of the state; further notes that the Chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility has said that these spending figures were based on the policy assumption presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and signed off by the Quad, which consists of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury; and calls on the government to instead adopt a different, fairer and more balanced approach, which involves sensible reductions in public spending, a reversal of this Government’s £3 billion-a-year top rate of income tax cut for people earning over £150,000 and an economic plan that delivers the sustained rises in living standards needed to boost tax revenues, in order to get the current budget into surplus and national debt as a share of GDP falling as soon as possible in the next Parliament.

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16th Feb2015

Dear John, how can you call the SNP ‘left-wing’?

by TH

The SNP are neither progressive nor left wing, Glasgow South MP Tom Harris has pointed out to his constituents.

In a reply to a constituent who claimed to have switched his support from Labour to nationalism because of the SNP’s commitment to helping “the poor, the vulnerable and ordinary working people”, Tom said that the SNP’s commitment to protecting the better off from having their tax increased – a commitment contained in the nationalists’ “White Paper” during the independence referendum campaign – was typical of a party that wants to talk left but acts right.

He told his constituent: “Throughout the last century, whenever the lives of working people have improved, whether through conditions at work, through housing or pension reforms, or in health care, reform has been driven by the Labour Party, either through government or through campaigns.

“Let’s not forget that in the history of modern democracy, the forward progress of the human condition has never been improved, or even been sustained, by the rejection of the mainstream progressive party in favour of nationalism.”

Tom has published his full response in an article on the LabourHame website.

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02nd Feb2015

Give the English a parliament… if they really want one

by TH

Screenshot 2015-03-13 11.32.16The only workable answer to the West Lothian Question is an English Parliament, Tom Harris has said.

But such a change is still unnecessary, the Glasgow South MP has written, even after the Smith Commission delivers the next round of devolution to Holyrood.

Every proposal suggested to answer the so-called West Lothian Question so far is unworkable and impractical, not to say undemocratic, Tom wrote on the LabourList website.

He said: “EVEL (English Votes for English Laws) would be a mess. It would create more problems than it would solve and would be constantly argued about and be subject to amendment.”

He added: “… an English Parliament – with, crucially, precisely the same powers and responsibilities given to the Scottish Parliament, with each constituency represented not only by an MP but also a Member of the English Parliament – is the only solution that addresses every concern on both sides of the debate.”

However, Tom added a caveat: “But for what it’s worth, I don’t think one is needed (as I wrote in a guest post on the site of the Campaign for an English Parliament a few years ago).”

 

 

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27th Jan2015

SNP settle for time-limited, no-strings-attached fracking moratorium, while Labour MPs force real government U-turn

by TH

FrackingThe government was forced into a significant U-turn on fracking after giving in to Labour pressure on the Infrastructure Bill in the House of Commons last night.

It has been forced to put into law conditions to ensure that no extraction can take place until the regulations are overhauled.

Glasgow South MP Tom Harris said: “Labour proposed an amendment to stop fracking unless a series of tough conditions are first met. At the last minute, and knowing that they were about to be defeated by Labour and their own backbenchers, the government accepted Labour’s amendment. This now means these robust regulatory conditions and protections are now in the Bill, and if it receives Royal Assent will become law.

“This is a significant defeat for the government, and stops the irresponsible approach the Tories had been taking to shale gas, and the focus will now be on ensuring that the landscape, water supplies and communities are given stronger protections and standards to be met. Labour has argued since March 2012 that fracking can only go ahead with robust regulation, comprehensive monitoring and local consent.

“This is also a more comprehensive and responsible approach than our opponents in the SNP, who voted for a simple time-limited moratorium with no conditions attached. Their approach is clearly all about quick press releases and soundbites, not about making a real difference in people’s lives.

“Provisions within our amendment was supported by a number of bodies, including the National Trust, RSPB, Friends of the Earth, Local Government Association, Unite and GMB trade unions.

“In Scotland, the Scottish government already has responsibility for planning and environmental permitting. This gives the Scottish government an effective veto of any activity in Scotland, although they have yet to confirm how – or if – they intend to use their powers in relation to fracking developments in Scotland. Separately, having accepted a Labour amendment, there will be no changes to rights to underground access in Scotland unless the Scottish government chooses to make them. This power, in line with the Smith Agreement, has now effectively been devolved.

“Scottish Labour have set out our policy in Scotland, which includes a triple lock of a tough baseline study, learning from fracking experience elsewhere in the UK, and a final, conclusive, vote of local communities to endorse any application granted permission for fracking. It is now up to the Scottish government to set out their approach to using their powers on this matter in Scotland.”

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14th Jan2015

Harris speaks up for Saudi blogger

by TH

Raif Badawi

Tom Harris today brought the case of the Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi to David Cameron’s attention during Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Glasgow South MP appealed to the Prime Minister to condemn the “barbaric and medieval” regime for imposing a sentence of 1000 lashes – to be administered at 50 per week during 20 weekly sessions – and 10 years in prison.

“Does he agree that our international alliances should be built more on human rights and less on economic muscle?” he asked Mr Cameron.

The Prime Minister’s answer, unfortunately, was disappointing: he seemed to suggest the government would only make representations to the Saudi government if Mr Badawi were a British citizen, which he isn’t.

Tom said later: “This is an appalling case which highlights just how backward the state of Saudi Arabia is. And it is hypocritical, to say the least, for Saudi government officials to condemn the slaughter of Charlie Hebdo writers and staff, while insisting that this kind of barbaric treatment can be meted out to any of its citizens who dare to express views which are not government sanctioned.”

 

Watch Tom’s question to the Prime Minister here.

Read more about Raif Badawi here.

Sign the petition for his release here.

 

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